When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow

I am the light of the world – Part 2

40 blogs of Lent, day 10

“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.” — Ursula K. Le Guin

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12
So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer.Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” John 12:35-36

To have shadows there has to be light.

In the same way, it is bad things that point to the presence of good. We cannot know that things are bad unless there is an actual moral standard. Which points to God, But it leaves the question of evil unanswered.

Who made evil?

I cannot give a good answer, theologians and philosophers have been pondering the problem for centuries. The best I can do is talk about Faustus. In Christopher Marlowe’s play Dr Faustus, Faustus gives his life to Lucifer in exchange for a few days of the services of a subordinate devil, Mephastophilis.

Dorothy L Sayers updates this in The Devil To Pay:

Mephisopheles1, says God made him, As the light makes the shadows. And: God is only light, and in the heart of the light no shadow standeth. Nor can I dwell in the heart of Heaven where God is all.

I have sensitive eyes. As well as the nightmare spectacles prescription: Very long sight with a very different astigmatism on each eye, i am sensitive to bright light, In summer I wear both sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat, one on it;s own is insufficient to prevent sunlight being physically painful. I also make the most of shadows.

To see shadows we have to face away from the light. People live in darkness for the same reason that Satan lives in darkness, they have turned their backs on God. And like people with sensitive eyes they then cannot bear to be in the light. preferring the shadows. They have rejected God, and we should not be surprised if they reject us as Christians if they can see God in us.


1 Mephastopheles is Sayers’ spelling of Mephastophilis
Bible quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV)


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